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Abstract

We review previous models for the Paleogene tectonic evolution of the Arabian and Eastern Somali basins and present a model based on a new compilation of magnetic and gravity data. Using plate reconstructions, we derive a self-consistent set of isochrons for Chron 27 to Chron 21 (61-46 Ma). The new isochrons account for the development of successive ridge propagation events along the Carlsberg Ridge, leading to an important spreading asymmetry between the conjugate basins. Our model predicts the growth of the outer and inner pseudo-faults associated with the ridge propagation events. The location of outer pseudo-faults appears to remain very stable despite a drastic change in the direction of ridge propagation before Chron 24 (c. 54 Ma). The motion of the Indian plate relative to the Somalian plate is stable in direction through Paleogene time; spreading velocities decrease from 6 to 3 cm a-1. Our reconstructions also confirm that the Arabia-India plate boundary was located west of the Owen Ridge along the Oman margin during Paleogene time; some compression is predicted at about Chron 21 (47 Ma) between the Indian and Arabian plates.

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